Surging oil prices continue to lift global investor sentiment and risk appetites. Australian shares are set to rise again today, adding to the 6.5% gain over the last two weeks. European shares rose, US indices climbed the wall of worry, and iron ore, aluminium and copper tracked higher still.
US investors are buying with gritted teeth. Despite concerns about the proximity of all-time highs better than expected house sales and strong company reporting drove gains. Thirty of thirty-two companies that reported overnight beat forecasts, confounding the bears and forcing more money to work in the market.
The strength in commodity markets is all the more impressive given recent price rises and a resurgent USD overnight. Quarterly production reports from Rio and BHP, and revenue reports from Woodside and Oilsearch, confirmed the big picture story of cost cutting and operational efficiency in a lower price environment. These factors should ensure another strong day for the Energy and Materials sectors.
The x-factor in trading today is banks. Sold off yesterday after news of higher compliance costs, a cool evaluation of the regulatory changes may see investors conclude the costs are immaterial, and prompt a reversal of yesterday’s weakness.